The safety and amenity of residents living in areas near major hazard facilities is a priority for the Victorian Government, along with ensuring the continued viability and growth of these industries.

New state planning policy for major hazard facilities

The Minister for Planning has approved Amendment VC152 which implements a new statewide planning policy for major hazard facilities.

The new state planning policy is located at Clause 13.07-2S of the Planning Policy Framework of the Victoria Planning Provisions and is contained in all planning schemes.

The new state policy:

  • recognises the state significance and overall importance of major hazard facilities to the Victorian economy
  • outlines the need to manage land surrounding major hazard facilities to avoid sensitive uses, and/or uses that could increase the number of people who live and work close to a major hazard facility
  • identifies how threshold distance requirements should be managed for existing and new major hazard facilities.

New requirements for planning scheme amendments

The Minister for Planning has issued Ministerial Direction No. 20 requiring planning authorities to seek, and have regard to the views of WorkSafe Victoria and the Minister for Industry and Employment, when preparing a planning scheme amendment for, or within, the threshold distance of a major hazard facility.

Engaging both WorkSafe Victoria and the Minister for Industry and Employment early in the planning process ensures appropriate advice regarding the use and development of land within threshold distances can be considered and incorporated into an amendment. This approach provides an early opportunity to address potential issues and can assist a planning authority by reducing delays later in the amendment process.

Victorian Government Response

In January 2018, the government released its response to the Major Hazard Facilities Advisory Committee Report on how to better manage land surrounding major hazard facilities.

Major Hazard Facilities Advisory Committee

The independent Advisory Committee was appointed in 2015 to provide advice on how to improve land use planning around major hazard facilities in Victoria.